Advisory Note
Cloud Computing 101: Defining Cloud Computing
Date: 02/25/2010 Length: 6 pages Cost: $99.00

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Cloud computing is exemplified by popular offerings from organizations like Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2; Google Apps, Gmail, and Docs; Salesforce CRM, Salesforce SFA, and; Rackspace Cloud and others. However, as cloud computing becomes more popular and more profitable, there seem to be an exponential increase in the number and variety of definitions of cloud computing.

Unfortunately, many (perhaps most) of the current definitions of cloud computing are self-serving, needlessly dogmatic, and even misleading. As multiple vendors, service providers, consultants, and other vested interests define cloud computing primarily to advance their own commercial agendas, enterprises should be wary of these definitions.

Fortunately, there are independent organizations that are tasked with exactly this – such as the US National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Given the importance of US government initiatives in cloud computing, the independence  and quality of NIST, and the comprehensive nature of the NIS definition of cloud computing, EMA believes that yet another new definition is neither helpful nor necessary. EMA has therefore adopted the NIST definition of cloud computing.

This EMA Advisory Note explores this definition of cloud computing, explaining why it is useful, what each section means, and how it applies to the real world – without bias, without vested interest, and without confusing jargon.

EMA Staff

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